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Sesh is a colloquial or slang short form of session,[1] (plural seshes), and is also a short form of seisiun, a word used by the Irish. Generally, sesh refers to a period of time spent engaged in some group activity. Increasingly, it has come to mean, particularly among young people, an informal, often impromptu, get-together or meeting to perform a group activity, usually with an element of excitement or air of conviviality.[2] Although a sesh may or may not have a defined goal to accomplish, it generally encompasses an implicit goal of a social bonding experience.


In Ireland, sesh is used colloquially as short for seisiun, which is a term that has been used by the Irish for centuries, particularly with regard to music played in pubs.[3] In the UK and Australia and Ireland, sesh also refers to a period of sustained social drinking.[4] Sesh began appearing more commonly in print during World War II.[5] By the 1980s sesh appeared in the middle-class culture of British youths.[6] Today a music festival in the UK offers original live music nights called The Sesh at Kingston upon Hull.[7]

Since World War II, the use of the word sesh has expanded beyond the UK and Australia, to the United States, likely precipitated by the exposure of US soldiers to their UK and Australian comrades. Since at least the 1960s, sesh has been used in the US to describe a gathering of musicians to perform or jam together.[8] Today, sesh is often used in the US in conjunction with sports activities performed in or before a small group, particularly extreme sports; for example, skate sesh, surf sesh and snowboard sesh. A search of Google and of YouTube videos for the word "sesh" further evidences the word having entered the vernacular.[9]


The word sesh is often coupled with a prefacing descriptive term, which can be either a noun or a verb, to describe the particular type of group activity or get-together.[9] For example, jam sesh is often used to refer to musicians gathering together and playing without extensive preparation or prearrangements. Skate sesh, rail sesh, ramp sesh and street sesh are phrases used by the youth skateboarding subculture to describe skateboarding activities, typically performed with or before a small group of friends. More generally, morning sesh, afternoon sesh, and Sunday sesh are used to describe get-togethers or activities at certain times. Stoners also use the word 'sesh' to refer to smoking marijuana with a group of people (e.g. chill sesh). The word sesh is also used alone to refer to a particular type of activity in the context that is understood by a group's members.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, Addition Series 1993
  2. ^ Examples of such usage can be found in Usenet groups. For instance, playing video games together: "Halo sesh" (2002). Surfing: "Went out for a quick sesh today in Huntington. Wore my spring suit." (2003)
  3. ^ 2007, Camille DeAngelis, Moon Ireland, Avalon Travel, ISBN 1-59880-048-5, page 536. 2006, Joseph Lee & Marion R. Casey, Making the Irish American, NYU Press, ISBN 0-8147-5208-X, page 414. Also see
  4. ^ The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Vol. II, 2005, Eric Partridge and Dalzell Victor Eds, Published by Taylor & Francis, ISBN 0-415-25938-X, page 1699.
  5. ^ E.g., "Empty lager bottles . . . signified that Hans and Fritz also knew the joys of a desert sesh." 1944, George Netherwood, Desert Squadron, Cairo, R. Schindler, page 119.
  6. ^ The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, Tony Thorne, 1990, Published by Pantheon Books, ISBN 0-679-73706-5, page 448.
  7. ^ Schedules for The Sesh concerts are posted at
  8. ^ E.g., "There's no opportunity either to take rhythm & blues or leave it alone at this sesh at the Apollo." 2002, Bruce Pegg, Brown Eyed Handsome Man: The Life and Hard Times of Chuck Berry, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-93748-5, page 51.
  9. ^ a b A Google search on 26 January 2008, for the word sesh returned over 1 million results. A Google search for phrases including sesh revealed the following, testifying to the broad use of the term: street sesh (120,000 results); jam sesh (23,800); recording sesh (1,820); skate sesh (17,900); rail sesh (8,580); skateboard sesh (1,610); ramp sesh (3,510); surf sesh (2,810); board sesh (991); snowboard sesh (644); ski sesh (269); training sesh (4,550); shopping sesh (248); dance sesh (1,720); makeout sesh (2,020); park sesh (6,380); backyard sesh (1,180);chill sesh (4,550); Sunday sesh (9,370); night sesh (6,360); evening sesh (1,610); afternoon sesh (1,620); morning sesh (2,490). A 26 January 2008, search for the term "sesh" on YouTube resulted in more than 9,700 videos; most were related to sports or music.
  10. ^ E.g., snowboarding: "Then it was on to the wallride for a sesh where numerous tricks were thrown down." 11 April 2007, Dave Driscoll, Transworld Snowboarding Magazine.